A new report from Sports Illustrated reveals that Major League Wrestling has partnered with Range Sports in an effort to increase their momentum and impact. Range Sports president Will Funk and MLW CEO Court Bauer commented on the move toward partnership between the companies while speaking to SI’s Justin Barrasso. You can find a few highlights from the interview below.
Bauer on why MLW chose to partner with Range: “With so much disruption in the content space, live sports are increasingly valued,” Bauer says. “Range has the resources to take Major League Wrestling to new heights by creating strategic partnerships that enrich and ensure our continued momentum.”
Bauer on what Range brings to the table for future goals: “Range has created a true dream team in the entertainment and sports space, so this is a great opportunity for MLW. Right now, we’re airing in over 60 countries. The goal is to extract maximum value across television, sponsor sales, event touring, and our full portfolio. We want to grow our windows and that is driven by live broadcasts.”
Funk on the opportunities provided by MLW: “One of our pillars at Range is identifying growth properties across sports, and we think there is a great opportunity for a distribution partner that wants to build a property, potentially even an equity partner. Court has experience, knowledge, and the number of hours of programming he has already produced is remarkable. A part that really excites me is MLW’s diversity. There is an appeal to the Hispanic marketplace, which is a huge opportunity for wrestling. There is tremendous upside there–I don’t know that the other promotions have done a great job with diversity. And MLW is a great product.”
Funk on how he hopes the brand partnership will benefit both companies: “We have an unlimited bandwidth and many potential distribution properties. We’re going to look at our music division and see if there is someone who is very passionate about pro wrestling who can be a brand ambassador. Beyond film, TV, and music, our branding division can assist MLW in building a more polished brand. From the brand partnership side, we have lots of relationships with Fortune-500 companies that are looking to, specifically, integrate into the fabric of the property in a seamless, organic way. On the network/streaming side, we have relationships with broadcast cable stations and streaming services, so there is an opportunity there to get MLW in front of the right people.”
Funk on the amplification potential from the partnership: “That’s the priority, getting MLW to as many people as possible. Then we can get to the monetization. We do a lot of proprietary data and analytics, and what that’s telling us is there’s something here. We believe our resources can really amplify what they’re already doing.”